Father Bernard Flanagan
Diocese of Allentown
Assigned as follows:
- 1982-1984: St. Anne (Bethlehem, PA)
- 1984-1986: St. Paul (Reading, PA)
- 1986-1987: St. Catherine of Siena (Reading, PA)
- 1987-1988: St. Jerome (Tamaqua, PA)
- 1988-1989: Unknown
- 1990-1998: Nativity BVM High School (Pottsville, PA)
- 1996: St. Mary (St. Clair, PA)
- 1997-2003: Mary, Queen of Peace (Pottsville, PA)
- 2003-2006: Our Lady Help of Christians (Allentown, PA)
- 2006-2011: St. Mary Magdalen, Annunciation, St. George, Our Lady of Mount Carmel (all in Shenandoah)
- 2011-2012: Unknown
- 2012-2016: Unassigned
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Bernard Flanagan:
Fr. Bernard Flanagan was ordained a priest in 1982, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Allentown. According to media reports, he worked at Reading Central Catholic High School, but the Official Catholic Directory, which lists a priest’s formal assignment each year, does not list that particular assignment.
Flanagan is not listed in the 1989 or 2012 Official Catholic Directory, which means the Diocese of Allentown failed to provide any information on him for those years. While we cannot say conclusively why he was not listed those years without additional information, in our experience, a diocese will either fail to list a priest who is on leave following allegations of misconduct, or give them a designation of “absent on leave” or “on sick leave.”
Flanagan was removed from ministry in September 2010, only after the Diocese Review Board concluded that an allegation received earlier was credible. According to media reports, the victim reported that he was abused by Flanagan in the mid-1980s while he was a student at Reading Central Catholic High School.
Flanagan also appears on the list of accused priests published by the Diocese of Harrisburg. According to the Diocese of Harrisburg, Flanagan was “used as a chaperone for an un-sanctioned international trip…attended by students of Bishop McDevitt High School,” though the Diocese of Harrisburg is not aware of any allegations that he abused any children on that trip.
According to a release by the Diocese of Allentown, it previously requested that the Vatican laicize (remove from the priesthood) Flanagan, but the Vatican determined that there was not evidence to support an involuntary laicization. He remains a priest without assignment.
Flanagan is believed to be residing in the Allentown, Pennsylvania, area. His current occupation is unknown.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Allentown. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Allentown may have legal options against the Diocese of Allentown.